Category: Tech / Sci / October 8, 2012 12:51 PM EDT
An Austrian extreme skydiver has been making final preparations for his attempt to jump from a balloon-hoisted capsule from the earth’s stratus fear at a record altitude of 23 miles above New Mexico.
The attempt by Felix Baumgartner will be the highest, fastest freefall in history and he’ll also attempt to become the first skydiver to break the speed of sound -- 690 mph (1110.45 km/h).
The current record for the highest-altitude skydive is 102,800 feet (31333.4m) and was set 52 years ago by U.S. Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger, who’s serving as an adviser to Baumgartner.
During the jump the 43-year-old Austrian will be wearing an astronaut-style pressured suit and helmet, which if breached could cause boiling blood, a condition where lethal bubbles form in his bodily fluids.
Another risk for Baumgartner is that he could lose control of his body which may cause his eyeballs to hemorrhage and possibly put a blood clot in his brain.
But the risk isn't enough to stop Baumgartner, who is also known as "Fearless" Felix, who says he's been dreaming of breaking Kittinger's record since he was little.
The attempt to break the record was originally scheduled for Monday but weather conditions have forced plans on to Tuesday.
Day said sky and wind are the two major factors and that winds of just 2 miles per hour (3.22 km/h) in the first 1,000 feet (304.8m) in the atmosphere could cause severe damage to the 550-feet (167.64m) high and 30 million cubic feet (849,505 cubic meter) balloon that will be taking Baumgartner to the record 120,000 feet (36,576m) height.